The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches provides speed and control at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and onsite support for Catalyst switches to help your organization to design an efficient infrastructure that addresses your specific business requirements, configure pilot testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security plan, automate network management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to the latest versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you get the most business value from your investment in your network.

The need for smart, high-speed switching is driven by a confluence of fairly recent networking trends whose overall effect is a cyber tsunami of data traffic:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent requirement for massive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Cloud computing is only made practical because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring very little real estate and power consumption. However this also requires that comparatively limited resources must accommodate large amounts of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has caused a steep increase in the amount of mobile clients that must be handled by business networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is generating a growing demand for data. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate silos of information, which as a result produces Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively recent, and put together they create a serious demand for an advanced class of switches that offer much higher performance, control, availability and manageability than previous platforms were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core levels of campus deployments where office workers must be accommodated by providing predictable performance, strict user access management, tight segregation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the need for speed and intelligence with capabilities such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching performance as high as 11 Tbps for each switch and double that per switching system, a powerful suite of tools including EVN to simplify the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant backup switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to optimize network resource usage, and advanced QoS tools for video data prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable businesses of all sizes to build intelligent switching features into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can handle current needs, expand to support future growth, guard vital data, and differentiate and manage tasks to enhance network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting options. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are offered with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches intended for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. These low-profile appliances have 8 to 48 GE ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fanless operation for 16- and 24-port models does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family by offering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of using one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring comprehensive wireless controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a one platform managed by one OS. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with PoE+, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and support for as many as 9 Catalyst switches per FlexStack stack. All models provide expandable QoS, stateful switchover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.

Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to spot and prioritize wireless data by means of Cisco's FNF technology along with advanced QoS capabilities for a better wireless user experience and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using existing cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Catalyst 3650 offers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless users on each switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch delivers stacking performance as high as 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing long distance connectivity, advanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.

Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution environments where space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X families simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the economy, security and compliance, resilience, and ease of management required for Cloud computing or other situations where a single infrastructure is shared by applications and services that need to operate in complete privacy from one another. EVN simplifies the process of deploying VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-VRF and adds additional features including VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce non-stop VNs with advanced load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches ConsultantsThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired plus wireless services on one platform based on Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning across wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, identical QoS for wired and wireless clients, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to include wireless traffic for world-class high availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless clients can be handled on each switch, and 250 access points and 4000 clients can be supported in a multi-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that can deliver 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10GE connections. Eight 10GE uplink ports are also available with a separate module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning, TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core switches that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and which have been continually enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual improvement preserves your technology investment and enables you to upgrade your network backbone with little downtime or IT staff re-education.

Common features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, single-point management to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS capability for maximum uptime via multi-level switchover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to support roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtual networking tools to partition distinct client groups and support the special security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For unified wired and wireless environments, the WiSM2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus backbone networks that require maximum uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions come with three to 13 slots and accept a wide selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network analysis, and security and compliance. Just E-Series models of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, includes 3 slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E supports 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and offers as much as 180 Gbps of throughput per slot, with a system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can handle up to 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone switches designed to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor device for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps capacity and has four slots for port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps capacity and handle as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit chassis with 7 expansion slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers up to 880 Gbps of switching capacity per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 80 10GE access ports or up to 20 40GE connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Legacy Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life. These outdated Catalyst switches usually cost more to operate and maintain than contemporary switches, deliver lower capacity and fewer features, and in some situations can subject businesses to regulatory compliance and even liability risks. Progent are available to help your business to support and repair these older Cisco products and can also assist you to plan and execute non-disruptive upgrades to newer products within the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Older Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Switches
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches HelpThe Catalyst Express 500 family of Layer 2 switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 employees and provide the reliability, security, extensibility, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses need at an economical cost. PoE capability makes it easy to add network devices such as wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus optional redundant power supplies with automatic switch-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to set up a wireless LAN environment rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 family offers solid protection against malicious attacks thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches Professional ServicesCisco Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide fundamental small-group networking for small to midsize businesses. These wire-speed desktop switches deliver IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice support at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of switches are small-footprint, stackable switches with eight Ethernet ports plus one integrated Fast or Gigabit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained locations like on a user's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Current models offer 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and provide switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows up to four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act like one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces administrative expense because of single-switch configuration. IPv6 FHS capability protects against address interception and malicious attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches Consulting FirmCiscoís Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and PoE functionality in 10/100 and Gigabit implementations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or satellite-office environments, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of key technology such a VoIP, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate network-wide intelligent services including quality of service, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast management, and fast IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 family switch has a powerful array of capabilities that permit network expandability and higher resilience through IP routing plus a full complement of STP improvements aimed to increase availability in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, combined with innovations such as Flex Links interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Layer 2 load balancing on redundant links to take advantage of the extra bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.

Important technologies such as Open Shortest Path First, EIGRP, BGP, static routing, and PBR increase network capacity; PIM increases resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco 3750 Series Switches Consulting FirmFor mid-size organizations and enterprise branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies integration of unified technologies and accommodates evolving competitive needs by providing setup versatility, support for unified network traffic, and automatic set up of smart network functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit Ethernet deployments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size deployments.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch includes either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-grade functions, including advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining consistent performance. StackWise technology unites up to 9 individual switches into a single functional device, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and software. The individual switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching appliance that is managed by a master switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new switches or remove existing switches with no service discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises expertise of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services available from Progent for Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing, network analysis and monitoring, topology design, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and network security testing and remediation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep expertise with open standards and with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, STP, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's infrastructure experts also offer experience with key technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security and compliance strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal enforcement to your security posture.

In case you require the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, plan, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's consulting and support capabilities for Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

For more details concerning Progent's professional help for Cisco technology, choose a subject:

In order to contact Progent about consulting support for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.